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Brooklyn Informed: Peter's Secret Garden

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Home is where the health is.

Food doesn't get any more local than when you can plant, pick, cook, and eat it all within a space of about five feet. That's the exactly the situation that building manager Peter Malerba finds himself in. The longtime Brooklyn resident takes advantage of having open access to a vast rooftop by growing a variety of organic delights every summer. But like a good Brooklynite, Malerba......read more

Matthew Levesque's Reimagined Gardens

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Local, repurposed materials open up new possibilities for gardens.

Matthew Levesque is on a crusade to prove that landscape design doesn't have to be boring or expensive. In his new book, "The Revolutionary Yardscape: Ideas for Repurposing Local Materials to Create Containers, Pathways, Lighting, and More," Levesque offers inspiration and tips on using unexpected materials to spruce up the area around your home. The book is filled with images and......read more

Gardens NYC: Patrick's Place

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Urban gardening comes up from underground.

There's nothing new about urban gardening. The Romans grew food on rooftops. Schoolyards and vacant lots have hosted veggie plots for centuries. So today's city agriculture explosion is really just a reclamation of our heritage. And nowhere is it more prevalent than Brooklyn, where Patrick Nagel (no, not that Patrick Nagel) gets his green thumb dirty every day. Born and raised near Detroit,......read more

Gardens NYC: Creative Living

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Garden as canvas.

Ten years ago, when artist Greg Van de Hey felt the creative impulse, he'd make a painting. But now, with two young kids, there just isn't enough time to make art. That's where his garden comes in. Whether it's building a rain barrel, making a grapevine trellis, or making wine, the young dad can always find a garden project that satiates his creative drive. It all plays into......read more

Hearty Greens

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Give greens a chance.

Leafy greens get a bum rap. You're not going to find many die-hard fanatics of kale or chard. Mention to your household that you're cooking turnip, mustard, collard or beet greens for dinner, and you're likely to be met with a scrunched up face or two. At the Portland Farmers Market Blog, we stumbled on a great post from Jane Pellicciotto, who offers some convincing arguments in......read more

Urban Homesteading

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Self-sufficiency in the city.

Homesteading is broadly defined as a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency. The sustainable, back-to-the-land movement is gaining popularity in urban areas, where applicable rural homesteading elements are being applied to city living. In theory, most people are into the idea of producing everything needed for survival on one's own land. While this isn't realistic for most of......read more

SHFT Sampler 1-7-11

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Weekly links: Gordon Matta-Clark's eco-art bent, mysterious bird deaths, and more.

Gordon Matta-Clark was an eco-art O.G.. In the 70s, Matta-Clark's conceptual projects included recycling glass bottles, digging out a basement to create a “guerrilla” garden, and turning a dumpster into an open house. An exhibition centered on Matta-Clark's time at 112 Greene Street, one of the first artist-run venues in New York, opens this weekend at David Zwirner in NYC. In a......read more

Grow Bottle

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Let your hydrogarden grow. $35.00

Here is a welcome product for people (like us) whose attempts to grow herbs indoors have been met with unequivocal failure. The Grow Bottle, from Potting Shed Creations' newest collection of smart and sustainable gardening products, makes year-round indoor herb farming clean and easy. Made from an upcycled wine bottle, the Grow Bottle is a hydroponic herb garden designed for simple reuse. When......read more

Gardens NYC: Let It Grow

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On a Brooklyn rooftop, Justin Vernon joins the shift.

For Justin Vernon, there's more to gardening than growing plants. His rooftop garden, one of the many cropping up on the Brooklyn skyline, is part of a broader shift in environmental consciousness. The moment he started thinking of the planet as a living entity, Justin couldn't wait to get some seeds and get down to business. Now, with the Gaia philosophy informing his approach, Justin raises......read more

Hungry for Change

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Can foodies save the environmental movement?

It seems like one step forward, two steps back for the environmental movement these days. The once-high hopes of achieving national and/or international action on climate change have faded to a mere memory. Backward-thinking Republicans are attacking the Environmental Protection Agency in Congress. Eco-minded folks are getting bummed. But another movement, one that shares a common ethos with......read more

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